A Cycling Vignette: Memorial
“Sense transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning "literary sketch" is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense.”
March 15th- “ In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb” In between it all, the reward of transcendence.
Yesterday was one of those days I’ll never forget. I could start backwards from here, but I think I’ll just start from the middle. Where transcendence made an appearance. I had so many experiences on this Saturday. Some so sublime and others quite soul wrenching. As I sat at the foot of my bed Sunday morning at 10am and began to get ready for yet another ride on my bike. On my Ipod a song played called a “ A little voice“. I melted down. It all came back to me. Matt’s father or some relative, I do not know, at the Sports basement on a news blurb saying. “Matt loved his bike” . Then the pain of a loved one emanating from deep within their soul, at the front of a crowd of a thousand other souls piercing the air. The sound of their grief was too much for me and I had to move far away, on my bike down a hill by myself off and in to silence of the forest. At that moment In the stillness and quiet by the river I needed to be back with the one I’ve truly cared about for so long and loved. I felt un-believably home sick. The bonds of love between Father and Son mother and child, Husband Wife, between friends. One soul to another the driving force of our existence. Extinguished in a moment of inattentiveness, of selfish un-awareness and one horrible mistake.
Earlier I came upon a cyclist named Ted. In a merging of groups and groups of cyclist funneling to the staging area of a grand tribute to the memory of our lost sister and brother in spirit. In front of us, a striking looking bunch of athletes in beautiful uniforms. They we’re from the Protech woman’s racing team. I talked to Ted about how overwhelmed I was becoming at these wonderful people coming together in mass and human camaraderie. Just then one of the team members chimed in that she remembered me from the time trial earlier. She had been the one to pin my number to my shirt! I had asked her, but didn’t mention that my hands we’re too cold and shaking from nerves to do it myself. I was just blown away, and all I could say was thank you. She moved up, and Ted said that’s my wife Dawn. We’ve been together for 28 years and we love riding together it’s been the center of our lives. He went on to explain her great feats in the world of cycling, and you could see he was so proud of her and was so jazzed about his life with her. 28 years…beautiful.
When I emerged from the forest into the gathering I saw a lone sheriffs officer standing on a rise near his car. I’m not sure what prompted me, but I went over to him. “Are you alright man?” He responded with honor and dignity and I will keep it to myself. I think how he felt was truly personal.
I looked over and saw the familiar NorCal outfits. How lucky I am with these new found friends. How much my life has changed for me over the years. How much the bike has changed and redirected my life through absolutely the worst times of my life, in the ultimate darkness of my soul and in the best times of my life. As Lance Armstrong said, “Its always about the bike”. It’s so cool to be a part of something. It’s so cool to sincerely care about others.
Then there’s my friend, Curtis with his lovely wife and friend Tricia who informs me that he they think I look tired and insist on giving me a ride back to where ever I need to go. That’s Curtis always the protective Dad trying to take care of everyone. Ramon with that stoic character. Unassuming always there, the granite pacemaker, good man in a storm. Of course Ron the circle and center of all things involved in our little society.. Master of ceremonies. Comforting. My good friend Henry. Resilient. What accident? It’s like he didn’t miss a pedal stroke in all those months off. As I drop him off I see his beautiful kids bouncing up and down in the picture window. Daddy’s home! As they come charging like a bunch of midget linebackers running on to the field for the second half. Hurry up Daddy, hurry up, as I race to remove his bike before the little tykes explode with joy! He convinced me to ride Mercyx category for the next TT. “Go old school man”
And I will….. Marco the almost cocky kid, but I realize that’s really the High IQ coupled with brute strength equals confidence. His dad was so proud of him at the TT. 9.7 in 27.44 and his tire was flat at the finish line. The guy who just beat up the grueling headwind like some supernatural bike superhero and brought us back to where we wanted be. Home. That was a great breakfast we had at Bucks after the TT. He told me he passed me while he was heading for his late start but not saying a word…didn’t want to ruin my Chi…Respect. And the rest of the BF’rs who weren’t there but were there with us in their hearts. Respect and transcendence.
Matt and Kristy, you’ve transcended…Peace, love, and respect.
With all the pictures I took this day, there was something so beautiful about this one